Last Updated on Thursday, 15 October, 2020 at 3:23 pm by Andre Camilleri
The upcoming budget will reach out to an even wider array of sectors. We must deliver a substantial investment injection into our business community, which will serve as encouragement for further investment by the same community. This will accelerate economic activity once again within the parameters of a new normal – Minister Silvio Schembri
During a business breakfast entitled ‘Using Vouchers to Regenerate the Economy’, Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Silvio Schembri announced that, up to the 14th of October, around 1.8 million vouchers have been redeemed, meaning that 81.2% of all €100 government vouchers have been now used.
Minister Schembri explained that 1.48 million red vouchers (81.4%), which can be redeemed in hotels, restaurants and accommodations have been used so far, whilst 0.34 million blue vouchers (18.6%) have been redeemed.
When including the multiplier effect, which stood at €7.16 and €16.42 for the red and blue vouchers respectively, the red vouchers generated a total spend of €40.2 million, whilst the blue vouchers generated a total spend of €12.4 million.
In total, the economic injection through the sole use of vouchers is of €36.4 million, whilst the total spend over and above the vouchers is of €16.2 million, amounting to a total injection of €52.6 million. By the end of October, which is the expiration date for the use of the vouchers, the initiative will inject €65 million into the economy.
Minister Schembri said that, “Through the €100 government voucher scheme, we have assisted a significant number of businesses. We have achieved the aim of the regeneration of the economy plan, which was to address specific issues within the market, particularly those which were severely impacted by the pandemic. The upcoming Budget is built on a somewhat different stance which will reach out to an even wider array of sectors. The voucher scheme has thus far provided businesses with crucial assistance necessary for their survival and the safeguarding of jobs. However, to fully protect our businesses in the challenging months ahead, we must continue with the necessary discussions until a satisfactory compromise is reached, not simply to ensure survival for our businesses, but to offer the appropriate springboard for their future growth and wellbeing. In order to enable this, we must deliver a substantial investment injection into our business community which will serve as encouragement for further investment by the same community. This will accelerate economic activity once again within the parameters of a new normal.”
A survey analysing the impact of the €100 government voucher scheme conducted by statistician Vincent Marmara was presented during the business breakfast. Based on the three main criteria; age, status and region, the survey showed that 85% of the respondents said that the vouchers’ initiative has helped both on a personal level, as well as a contributor to the economy.
Answering to the survey question on how comfortable the respondent felt when going out, 40% said that they were neutral, while 28% responded that they were comfortable and 33% stated that they were uncomfortable. In their majority, the most respondents who felt comfortable going out hailed from Gozo and the Southern Harbour region. Young people were also the largest demographic which registered their unconcern with going out.
96% of the respondents expressed interest in the re-issuance of the vouchers’ initiative during the winter months. When asked specifically in which period they would like the vouchers to be issued, 54% of the respondents said that, ideally, the next round of vouchers should be issued during the Christmas period.
The Chairman of Mimcol Adrian Said said that the business breakfast is an opportunity to discuss the impact of the vouchers and through means of constructive discussion identify a way forward for implementation of measures to ensure a positive impact on the businesses’ community.
Throughout the business breakfast organized by MIMCOL in collaboration with the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, several stakeholders, associations and entrepreneurs put forward their proposals and shared their thoughts aimed at enhancing economic activity, protecting businesses and safeguarding jobs.